Vol. 5, No. 5, October 2020
Courtesy of Keppel AmFELS
Keppel AmFELS announced in September its contract to build the largest high-specification Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge in the U.S. for Manson Construction Co.
Digging Deeper

Keppel AmFELS to Build the Largest
U.S. Hopper Dredge at the Port
Keppel AmFELS announced in September its contract to build the largest high-specification Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge (TSHD) in the U.S. for Manson Construction Co.

This will be the first dredge built at Keppel AmFELS' yard at the Port of Brownsville, adding to the growing number of shipbuilding projects and job opportunities in the South Texas region.

"We are pleased to be selected by Manson Construction Co. to build the largest U.S hopper dredge. It is a testament to the capabilities of our shipyard to build a wide variety of vessels for the Jones Act market," said Mohamed Sahlan Bin Salleh, president of Keppel AmFELS. "This project will be supported by our highly-skilled local workforce and suppliers across the U.S. This is our first newbuild project with Manson and we look forward to supporting them as they grow their fleet of vessels."

Once complete, the self-propelled hopper dredge, to be named Frederick Paup, will be the largest in the United States, representing Manson’s single biggest investment in its 115-year history.
Diagram courtesy of Manson Construction Co.
The self-propelled hopper dredge, to be named Frederick Paup, will be the largest in the U.S., representing Manson’s single biggest investment in its 115-year history. 
Courtesy of International Shipbreaking LLC.
Navy Ships Arrive for Recycling
International Shipbreaking LLC. was awarded the contract to transport, strip and recycle the decommissioned the guided-missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga and USS Charles F. Adams, the Navy's first guided missile destroyer.

Both ships arrived in September and are scheduled to be completely demilitarized by 2021.

The USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) was built at Ingalls Shipbuilding, in Pascagoula, MS., and delivered to the Navy in 1982. She has an impressive service history and provided naval gunfire support off the coast of Lebanon on her maiden voyage in 1984. She was assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group and participated in Operation Desert Shield in 1990, Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight in 1995.

"We take great pride in having been awarded the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) contract to recycle this historic vessel," said Chris Green, Senior Manager at International Shipbreaking Ltd. "The USS Ticonderoga has significant sentimental meaning to the men and women who served our country and spent a part of their lives with her. She will be recycled in a safe, respectful and environmentally responsible manner."

The USS Adams has an impressive service history, most notably serving as flagship for cold war surveillance of Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic, carrying out space flight recovery operations in 1962, as part of Project Mercury established by the newly formed NASA - a first for the U.S. Navy. Adams also took part in quarantine and surveillance operations as part of the Cuban missile crisis, which saw her awarded with the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

"It is with great pride that we welcome the USS Adams on her final journey. It’s an honor to work on a ship with such an impressive service to her country," Green said. "We have a long history of dismantling military vessels in a respectful and compliant manner and have invested heavily to build a world class green ship recycling facility in Brownsville, Texas."
Virtual Site Selector Tour Set for October
Editor’s Note: This article is featured at www.riograndeguardian.com. Read the full article HERE
The Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation has finalized its lineup for a virtual site selector tour taking place Oct. 15.

The tour, organized in conjunction with Select USA, was to have taken place in person in June. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced the organizers to plan for a virtual event. 

Port Director and CEO, Eduardo A. Campirano, will be a guest speaker at the event, discussing the benefits of having a deepwater seaport in our region.
Driving Growth and Economic Prosperity
Watch the video prepared for the event, which highlights how the port helps businesses succeed, driving growth and economic prosperity in our region.
FTZ Administrator Rodriguez Named Chamber Board Chair
The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, announced Oct. 1st four new board members and welcomed Antonio "Tony" Rodriguez as its new Chair of the Board.

Rodriguez is the Director of Cargo Services & FTZ Administrator for the Port of Brownsville. He has served on the Board of Director of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce since 2016.

Rodriguez succeeds Maribel Baca, who served as Chair of the Board from 2007-2008 and most recently from 2019-2020.
Shipbuilding Brings Jobs to Texas
The Port of Brownsville brings a new industry to the state of Texas in shipbuilding, helping create 700 high-paying jobs for the Rio Grande Valley.
BRG's Momentum on Track
The month of August marked an impressive milestone in the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway’s (BRG) 34-year history, with a record 5,045 loaded railcars handled at the Port of Brownsville.
The short-line railroad, managed and operated by OmniTRAX, has experienced a record-breaking number of car volumes for 2020 and according to Norma Torres, BRG president & COO, if the trend continues, BRG will see a 15% increase from the 41,207 loaded cars moved in 2019.

Like other companies, BRG has faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has persevered as carload volumes continue to increase thanks to an uptick in activity by port tenants.
Port staff wore red Friday, Sep. 25, in support of Red Out For Rail Safety, as part of National Rail Safety Week.
NextDecade Keeps 2021 Target for Sanctioning Proposed LNG Terminal
NextDecade is sticking to plans to make a final investment decision in 2021 for its proposed Rio Grande LNG export project amid the hope that it will overcome challenges in its commercial efforts to support the Texas terminal, a company executive said during an industry conference Sept. 30.

The comments by James MacTaggart, NextDecade's senior vice president of LNG marketing for Asia and the Middle East, during the virtual FT Commodities Global Summit come in a year filled with delays and market uncertainty for North American LNG developers due largely to demand destruction from the coronavirus pandemic.






Port Director & CEO

Contact Us:
Ph: 956.831.4592 / 800.378.5395
Fax: 956.831.5006
October 7 
BND Board Meeting 
October 13 
First day of Early Voting

October 15 
October 21 
BND Board Meeting 
Oct 26–Oct 28 
October 30 
Last Day of Early Voting 
October 31 
November 1 
All Saints Day

Daylight Saving Time ends - Turn clocks back one hour

November 2 
All Souls Day 
November 3 
Election Day 
November  4 
BND Board Meeting 

November 11 
Veterans Day Port Offices Closed
BND Reduces Tax Rate
The Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners approved lowering the overall tax rate for property owners living within the district with an effective date of Oct. 1, 2020.

The measure, approved unanimously at a regular board meeting held Sept. 9, sets the 2020 property tax rate for the BND at $.029778 per $100 valuation, a 17 percent decrease from the previous year’s adopted tax rate which was set at $.035920. The 2020 property tax rate is comprised of a debt rate of $.004864 per $100 valuation and a maintenance and operations rate of $.024914 per $100 valuation.

"The Brownsville Navigation District commissioners and port staff are focused on advocating for the best interest of the district’s taxpayers," said John Reed, BND chairman. "This decision reinforces our commitment to the residents of Brownsville, Olmito, Los Fresnos and Rancho Viejo by lowering the tax rate, something very important this year as we battle a global pandemic that’s impacted the nation’s economy."
Port of Brownsville Steams Ahead 
Editor’s Note: This article is featured at www.valleybusinessreport.com
The Port of Brownsville is utilizing record revenue years leading up to COVID-19 to deal with the pandemic’s challenges.

The port reported a record $25.4 million in annual revenue in fiscal year 2019. The figure tops the previous record from 2018 with continuous robust growth over the last six years. The port’s performance was recently recognized by Moody’s Investor Service, ranking the Port of Brownsville third among all U.S. ports for financial resiliency. 
BND General Election Nov. 3
The early voting period for the Brownsville Navigation District general election will be from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 3.

Click the link below for a listing of
Election Day and early voting polling places.
Texas Ranks
No. 1 on Site Selection’s Global Index
Editor’s Note: This article is featured at www.siteselection.com.
Site Selection magazine named Texas the leader among U.S. states when it comes to the powerful blend of infrastructure project investment and corporate facility investment over the past several years in their Sept. 2020 issue.
Bring Better Broadband to Brownsville
The Port of Brownsville has joined the City of Brownsville and six other local organizations in a campaign focused on bringing high speed, reliable and affordable broadband access to Brownsville and the surrounding areas.

Residents and businesses in Brownsville, Los Fresnos and Rancho Viejo are encouraged to share experiences, opinions, and needs through an important community survey. Participation in the survey will help determine which areas of the community should be prioritized and which technology and infrastructure investments will make the most sense moving forward. 
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